A Stroll Along Legarda Road

If you have been staying here in Baguio for quite some time, you might have presumably heard about Legarda Road, a major road in Baguio City that is a few-minute walk from Session Road.

MAP

Source: Google Map

Some students call it “Korea town” because of the road’s features swamped by foreigner students, mostly Koreans,  as they enjoy the neighboring establishments located along the area on a typical and care-free weekend. If you’re a newbie in this city and looking for a place to wander, these are some of the establishments along Legarda Road you might want to give a try:

  1. Restaurants

There are more or less 10 Korean restaurants, one Japanese restaurant, and cafes along this road that you can choose from. Red Station, Kubo Grill, Camping Date, Le Vein Bakeshop, Pearl Meat Shop, Uijeongbu, Chil Cheon Gak and Jijimi are just a few.

KUBO

Unlimited Samgyupsal at Kubo Grill

CAMPING DATE

Experience eating in a tent at Camping Date

 

RED STATION3

Red Station

  1. Grocery

seoul shopping center

Seoul Shopping Center is situated just beside Kubo Grill. Going there is like a taste of Korea as it is packed with Korean products – from ice cream, snacks, souvenirs, and soju to cooking ingredients such as dried sheets of sea weed, crab meat and some vegetables.

  1. KTV 
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Photo by Johnson

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Source: thepennut.wordpress.com

Everybody loves a good entertainment and going to karaoke is always on the list. Luckily, there’s a KTV called Apple located at The Zone Vill Condominium which has a song list that caters Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English songs. Enjoy an hour of singing for only Php 400. You may also opt to buy beverage at the counter as well as snacks. Perfect for group hang out!

If you plan to explore Legarda Road, you can go there from Monol by taxi or jeepney and get off across Baguio City Hall. This area is ideal for Friday night, just be sure to come back at the academy before midnight!

Teachers’ Tips: PRONUNCIATION

 

Producing sound and actually being able to say a word perfectly is a real challenge for most non-native speakers. It is understandable that some syllables and sounds don’t exist in our native tongue and that’s completely normal. However, when it comes to speaking English, we should, or must be able to enunciate the words and phrases clearly to sound like a native speaker (or at least neutral) and most especially, to be understood.

It goes without saying that practice, practice, practice is the key to success, but going an extra mile would induce more positive results. These are some exercises you can add:

“Try to record your voice then compare with your dictionary.”
-Teacher Ana

The most tried and true source of information regarding this matter would be a dictionary. Check out the right pronunciation of the word and compare it with yours. Repeat until you sound quite parallel.

“Try tongue twisters to stretch your tongue”
-Teacher Alejandro

Getting used to babbling tongue twisters such as those above are a great way to get your tongue used to different positions that are required to produce certain sounds such as the most dreaded “r” sound. Furthermore, it also accustoms the oral muscles to speed used in transitioning from one sound to another as in from “L” to “R” in the word “already”.

R-L

Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com

“Watch English movies and imitate”
-Teacher Geralyn

Watching movies (and or series) gives us clue on how to actually utter the words, intonation, and stress. Some common expressions are being spoken in movies and it could help a lot to try to mimic the way native speakers converse.

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Source: http://i.amz.mshcdn.com/

“Sing English songs especially songs with blending.”
-Teacher Ana

People love music whether or not they can sing or not. Singing English songs can help you practice blending and pronunciation. Plus, you can sing in karaoke to practice!

“Don’t be afraid to ask about the right pronunciation.”
-Teacher Areya

Last, but not the least, don’t be afraid to ask! Asking for the right pronunciation is better than wondering and being hesitant to speak of the word.

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Source: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Bonus: Familiarize yourself with the International Phonetic Alphabet or the IPA symbols. This comes in handy!

 

**featured image from http://www.fluentu.com

Students Bag Awards for Winning the Photo Essay Contest

Monol International Education Institute – Six students, two from each level, were awarded for having had submitted exemplary photos and essays at the Photo Essay Contest organized for Group B students.

Hard work and a little pinch of creativity do pay-off. Although summer has finally ceased this month, the students’ were efficiently able to submit snaps and tales about what they love about Baguio City, their summer experience in the Philippines, and what motivates them to study English. Winners received cash and certificates at the said event held at the End-of-term party on June 9 this year.

Photo Essay Contest for Term A students will be held next month. Keep posted for more updates!

Click on the image below to view the winning entries.

PHOTO ESSAY WINNERS

 

Teachers’ Tips: WRITING

Writing is like a double-edged sword – it could be both advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. Unlike speaking, writing could be reviewed and edited as long as you have enough time. However, talking about the latter, published work is irreversible be it printed or digital.

That’s why it is crucial to be detail-oriented in writing. The process wouldn’t be an overnight success – it is a combination of different factors and habits that leads to development of this skill. Here are five tips from our teachers that would help you along the way:

“Picture the flow of your piece.”
– Teacher Rolando

To make a clear map of your piece, it would help to be specific with your topic, determine the scope of your essay and discern the purpose of writing your piece. Start with tailoring the three important parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

“Study basic grammar rules first before complex grammar rules/ structures.”
Teacher Jesheamor

Grammar, as Merriam-Webster dictionary suggests, is “the set of rules that explain how words are used in a language”.  Sure, there a lot of rules and exceptions in studying a language, that is the point why it is important to start with the basics alongside with simple sentences to complex ones. Familiarize yourself with the figures of speech, subject verb agreement, clauses and phrases, punctuation rules and many more. Check out http://www.grammarbook.com for helpful and comprehensible explanations.

“List down 5-10 new words everyday.”
-Teacher Geralyn

There are may words that could describe a single event and as soon as you expand your vocabulary, the more specific and clearer your sentences would be. Writing 5-10 words everyday is a good start when developing your skill. Review the words you have learned in class and try to use them in a sentence till you master their usage.

“Read different kinds of articles.”
-Teacher Rolando

Writing style is the product of your own imagination plus all those you have read. Developing one’s personal writing style involves taking into account the voice of other writers. Reading different kinds of articles can also help you be familiarized with sentence structures, vocabulary, and word usage.

“Keep a journal.”
– Teacher Areya

The daily writing practice serves as a whetstone to enhance writing skills. Few months or years upon writing consistently, you could go back to the earlier dates and “evaluate” how much you have improved. Start by writing about your day and try to be as descriptive as you can. Remember: Practice, practice, practice.

Bonus:

“Join writing contest.”
– Teacher Ana

Joining writing contest or any other contests for that matter is not only about winning. Of course, winning would be the best thing after putting your masterpiece out there, but there are other ways that joining a contest is beneficial. It is a good way to test your ideas, challenge yourself, and show your talent.

Have you heard of the Photo Essay Contest? Monol International Education Institute encourages students to participate in the said competition held per batch.
Challenge yourself!

**featured image from https://www.careermetis.com/increase-writing-efficiency/

Teachers’ Tips: LISTENING

What?
Can you please say it again?
Sorry, I wasn’t able to catch that.

Sounds familiar?

Listening takes a lot of effort than it appears especially for language learners. It is not only about hearing what another person is saying, it’s more about processing the sound transmitted from a medium to our brains. Making sense of what you have heard is a challenge especially when you’re unfamiliar with the words uttered to you. In addition, there exists numerous accents all over the world which means different pronunciations and diction.

This is why we compiled some helpful tips straight from the people who knows best when it comes to this facet — teachers. And here’s what they’ve got to say:

“Listen to English songs and try to write their lyrics.”
-Teacher Jesheamor

There are countless genres that would suit each and every person in the world. Pick one that interests you and try to play it, pause, and scribe. Repeat the process and check your performance by searching for the lyrics on the internet.

“Record class activities.”
-Teacher Tom

Here’s the thing: when you are in class, you probably can’t turn your 100% attention on what the teacher is telling you maybe because of some external factors or because you are multitasking- – writing, listening, and even talking at the same time. The good thing about this strategy is, you can replay the audio during your self study time and be able to focus on the content in your own sweet time.

“Have a list of words to listen to.”
-Teacher Tom

Having a list of words could help in expanding your vocabulary, therefore training your mind to be accustomed to the words that you don’t usually hear around you. Familiarity is the key.

“Engage in meaningful conversation with your friends.”
-Teacher Areya

Engaging in a meaningful conversation with your friends is a viable way to develop listening skills. The more diverse your circle is, the better chances of being accustomed to different accents and speech rate.

“Watch English movies.”
-Teacher Geralyn

This is probably the most entertaining way of practicing your listening skill. Watching a movie is like being in the real situation, seeing gestures, lip movements, and all the possible real-life situation all in a screen. Plus, you can take home a lot of practical expressions!

*featured image from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Jeepney 101

Jeepney is considered as one of the Philippines’ national symbols. Each said vehicle is usually air brush-painted with colorful designs and decorations, outwardly reflecting the diverse socio-cultural system of the country.

However, the first jeepneys weren’t all festive. Its history could be traced back in the 1940’s during the World War II where the original version was initially used as a military car accommodating a number of people. The remains of these vehicles were left by the Americans as the war subsided and was modified by the locals for public transportation.

The Jeepney Culture

The Philippine culture could not only be seen on the surface of these then military transportation. What happens inside the jeepney would tell you a lot more about the custom of bayanihan where people give each other a hand when needed.

One observable example is, as soon as you hand the fare, passengers would pass it on until it reaches the driver’s coin chest. If you have a change, passengers would receive it from the driver then pass it on until it reaches you back. At times when the driver forgets about the change, other passengers, even if you don’t know them, would remind the driver about it. These people seem to have a given understanding about how this custom works.

Accessible and cheap

Among the vehicles in the Philippines, jeepney, unlike taxi and tricycle, are accessible both in rural and urban areas. Here in Baguio, some jeepneys have cut-off until 9 pm whereas others rove until 12 midnight or even 24-hours straight.

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Monol students riding a jeepney on their way to an outdoor activity

Monol is located along Tacay Road, Pinsao Proper, a 10-15 minutes ride from town. Both jeepneys and taxis traverse just in front of the academy. The practical thing about jeepney is being able to arrive in town for only 8.50 pesos, around four times cheaper than the flag down rate of taxi. However, unlike taxi, the jeepney has certain routes so if you opt to ride one, knowing the destinations where jeepneys would travel would help a lot (and save you bucks!).

**featured image from http://www.anistransport.com

 

A Taste of Filipino Food

“What food do you recommend?”

This is one of the most common questions teachers receive from new students during the first day of classes.

This is not bizarre because majority of people love food and if you are someone who is visiting a place for the first time, you would probably ask the same thing. The spectacular thing about food is, it doesn’t only help us survive and accomplish our daily tasks. When you think about it, certain types of food could tell us more about the culture, the people who prepared the food, as well as the geography the locale has based on the resources used.

Having Monol weekend trip twice a month and being able to go out of the academy after 5 pm are opportune moments to try out Filipino foods at some local restaurants. The following are some delectable cuisines for starters:

  1. Longanisa
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Photo from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Longanisa resembles sausage. It has variety of flavors ranging from sweet, sour, and sometimes with garlic and black pepper. This food is usually served during breakfast with egg and fried rice. If you happen to visit Hundred Islands, or Vigan, you could try their local-made longanisa.

Where to: Volante, Rufo’s Tapa

  1. Halo halo
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Photo from https://bokutoupdtokyo.files.wordpress.com

Halo halo is a literal translation of Filipino word to English. ‘Halo’ means ‘mix’ and as the name suggests, it is a mixture of different fruits, nata, sago, beans, crisped rice, topped with crushed ice, milk and custard or sometimes with ice cream. Perfect for summer!

Where to: Mang Inasal, Chowking, Kubong Sawali

3. Adobo

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Photo from http://www.pepper.ph

Adobo is one of Pinoy favorites. This meal consists of pork, chicken, sometimes string beans, together with vinegar, salt (or soy), black pepper, garlic. Some modifications may involve adding liver spread, pineapple, boiled egg and potato.

Where to: F.O.T.D., Rufo’s Tapa

4. Turon

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Photo from http://wokwithray.net

A perfect combination of crispy and soft, turon is made with banana and caramelized sugar, sometimes with jackfruit or sticky rice, rolled in spring roll wrappers, and deep fried to achieve crispness.

Where to: SM Supermarket, Mang Inasal, Dencio’s Bar and Grill (SM)

5. Lechon

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Photo from http://generals-lechon.com

Lechon almost all the time signifies festivity and celebration. This is often served during festivals and special occasions like weddings. For most people, the skin is the most sought-after part of lechon as it becomes so crispy and tasty, infused with smoky aroma that will surely boost your appetite.

Where to: Baliwag Lechon, Andok’s, Good Taste, Kubong Sawali

6. Sinigang

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Photo from https://68.media.tumblr.com

Sinigang is one of the dishes perfect for any weather be it rainy or summer. Fish, pork, or shrimp is boiled together with tamarind or kamias (tree cucumber) making the soup taste sour. Leafy vegetables are added few minutes after the meat has been cooked and voila, sinigang is ready to be served.

Where to: Kubong Sawali, Dencio’s Bar and Grill (SM), Point and Grill

Indulge!

**featured image from http://www.muckingaroundmanila.com